Nigeria defeated Croatia 5-2 at the FIFA Under 20 World Cup in Colombia on Thursday morning to qualify for the Round of 16. Substitute Uche Nwofor scored a brace to give Nigeria what seemed like a comfortable win even though they were troubled by the European’s set pieces.
Olanrewaju Kayode opened scoring on 25minutes before defender Terna Suswam struck a powerful shot five minutes later to help the Flying Eagles to a 2-0 first half lead. Ivan Lendric gave the Europeans hope with a late goal from a free kick to take scores 2-1 into half time.
The Croatians came into the second half looking more determined and earned a series of quick corner kicks. But speedy winger Ahmed Musa scored a third for Nigeria to give them a cushion. It was Croatia’s turn to make hay as Andrej Kamaric nodded home another well-taken free kick to make it an exciting 3-2.
Coach John Obuh then brought on Uche Nwofor as substitute for Edafe Egbedi. Nwofor claimed the first of his two goals with only his first touch of the ball. His brace came a two minutes later to emphasise the strength of the Nigerian attack.
Nigeria go top of Group D by virtue of goals difference above Saudi Arabia. The Asians defeated Guatemala 6-0 earlier in the day to also secure their place in the Round of 16. Colombia and Spain have also qualified for the next round after winning their first two games of the competition.